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'Explosion' of exotic pests contaminating vehicles at Australian ports behind major new car delay

This article was originally published via https://www.9news.com.au/.


Rows of new cars waiting to be dispatch and shipped around the world from the biggest and busiest cargo port in Malaysia.(Getty)

Rows of new cars waiting to be dispatch and shipped around the world from the biggest and busiest cargo port in Malaysia.(Getty)


Exotic pests like snails and stinkbugs have contaminated thousands of new cars waiting to enter the country at Australian ports, leading to lengthy, almost year-long delays.



Some people are having to wait up to 300 days for their cars and it all comes down to them not being cleaned before being loaded onto ships.


Minister for Agriculture Murray Watt urged manufacturers to remain vigilant with hygiene as the government will not risk the nation's biosecurity.


"We've had thousands of cars turn up on Australian shores, at our ports, with these stinkbugs and snails and other sorts of pests and diseases and they've got to be cleaned at this end," Wyatt told 2GB.


"What we want to make sure is that we don't want to put our agriculture sector at risk.


"Those sorts of pests and diseases in particular would be very devastating for our agriculture industry.


Minister for Agriculture Murray Watt has urged car manufacturers to be more vigilant with hygiene. (Getty)

Minister for Agriculture Murray Watt has urged car manufacturers to be more vigilant with hygiene. (Getty)


"We've been trying to work with the car makers and importers to get them to do their job and clean these products before they put them onto boats and send them to Australia."

Most cars that enter NSW come via Port Kembla, where Watt said there had been "a 100 per cent increase in contaminated vehicles coming in".


"This of course is not the only reason why people are waiting for their cars," he said.

"There's been a range of supply chain problems, COVID-19, Ukraine. 


"But this isn't helping."


Authorities have implemented new protocols to have the cars cleaned as quickly as possible, but Watt said it's critical manufacturers play their part.


"This is another one of those strange consequences of Covid, where because of the supply chains being disrupted we've had thousands of cars in other countries sitting in paddocks and things like that waiting for boats to be ready," he explained.


"And in the process, they're picking up these kinds of pests and diseases and we just simply cannot afford to have those things come into our country."

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